An open love letter to Men of Color: Men, I love you with my whole heart. You reflect the divinity that is within all things. I am so sorry that the world has failed to keep you safe. That you aren’t allowed to express yourselves in healthy ways, to cry, to be angry, to simply BE. Know that you don’t always have to be strong and you aren’t any less of a man if you are the one that needs to be protected sometimes. We are here to remind you that you are limitless. We see you. You are valued. As a woman, I cannot heal you- only give you space to heal yourselves. So what does being free look like to you? How can we create that reality for our children to come? Letting men BE is not an inherently toxic thing. At the core, your true nature is peace. and light. and love. Always love.
Let Men Be Feminine
Before we began shooting, I asked each of these 3 men: "what does femininity mean for you? how does it play a role in your life?" Each responded with similar sentiments of femininity allowing them to embrace being vulnerable and expressing masculinity is healthy ways. Being feminine does not make them any less of a man. I REPEAT: BEING FEMININE DOES NOT MAKE THEM ANY LESS OF A MAN. It is long overdue for us to reconstruct what we teach and value about gender roles in our societies. Feminine energy is creative energy. The ability to make something out of nothing. Nobody has ever complained about the state of our world being too nurturing, too loving, too supportive. The suppressing of feminine qualities in both men and women is suppressing who we are as a whole. It's exhausting. and extremely violent in some cases. Some men are already doing the work... creating a world where they are free. and safe. and whatever else they want to be without harming others. This series celebrates the Divine within men.
Femininity is not the opposite of masculinity, but a complement.
I asked people to contribute answers to the prompt: "Let men be ____________" and the answers are so simple... men should be able to laugh and touch each other without being perceived as gay. men should be able to breathe and feel safe walking in their own skin. let. men. be.
As with any photoshoot, I hope to capture people authentically and not solely how I perceive them to be... I can only reflect back what is there. The purpose of this series is not to impose my ideas on femininity on others or force anybody to be anywhere they are not comfortable. The purpose is to encourage you to be you and to embrace every aspect of who you are. Whether or not this serves you in your journey of self-discovery, may you always have the courage to live in your truths.
With all my love,
Thank you to my friends / models: Vanely Freitas, Mikey Jimenez and Bryce Xavier for helping us bring this vision to life so effortlessly.